South Korea: Electricity Rate To Jump By 16%

From Saturday, households in South Korea will have to pay more to use electricity.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation, or KEPCO announced that the electricity rates will rise by 2.5 Korean won per kilowatt hour in the fourth quarter.

Previously, the government announced an additional 4.9 won increase for October, so in total, the electricity rate will jump by 7.4 won.

This means bills will go up by around 2,270 won or 1.6 U.S. dollars a month, on average for a four-person household.

Businesses that use large amounts of electricity will be charged more, depending on the voltage.

Authorities say the hike comes following a sharp rise in global energy prices, but added that they plan on normalizing the rates in stages next year.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has also announced rate hikes for gas.

Gas is currently 16.99 won per megajoule.

But the rate will increase by almost 16-percent, or 2.7 won per megajoule, starting October.

This means the monthly average for households will rise by 5,400 won or nearly four U.S dollars.

For businesses with moderate energy consumption like restaurants, hairdressers, and lodging facilities, rates will jump by 16.4 percent.

Rates for businesses that require more gas use like public baths will increase by over 17 percent.

This is a big hike considering that rates were increased by single digits last quarter.

The ministry explained that this was caused by soaring international gas prices as well as the weakening of the Korean currency against the greenback.

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